He was our Squadron commander and was flown to Japan. His health was broken in a work camp in Japan. His generous gift was welcome. Walter was also responsible for some of the pictures used and for moral support. I am grateful for the opportunity to associate with the people I encountered during the war. They were, in the main, kind to me.
I am also grateful that the Lord has given me more time beyond 2 September to learn to live with my fellow man. I know that my capabilities, such as they are, were greatly enhanced by the help of the Lord. I have paused on 2 September of each year to ask myself, What have I done with the additional time the Lord has given me to live on this earth? Dan Hakes drew this picture of the Tokyo Sleeper in the strafer configuration.
Roy Lee Grover is shown as he appeared on the flight to Australia. This gift from Dan Hakes is greatly appreciated. The 38th Bomb Group, a B medium bomb group, was ordered to proceed to Australia early in The ground element arrived by ship in April. However, the two squadrons of flight crews with their B airplanes were diverted to the Guadalcanal area.
Two squadrons of flight personnel were then organized, furnished with B aircraft and sent to Australia as the crews and aircraft of the 38th Bomb Group. I was part of the newly formed crews. My airplane and crew of four took off from Hamilton Field on August 9, and landed on Oahu, Hawaii as our first stop.
Christmas Island is now called Kiritimati, one of the group of islands now composed of the Republic of Karibati. Christmas Island was later used for nuclear testing. With now economic growth and insufficient soil to support crops, the island is not a permanent habitation. It was named after an American whaling ship wrecked in We met the requirements of two years of College, twenty years of age, not married and were in good health.
Together we had taken CPT civilian pilot training , a college program, in the summer of The Navy would accept Warren into their program but refused to accept me. The Army would accept me but would not accept Warren. My mouth would not fit the Navy oxygen mask as all of my teeth, including the front ones, did not meet at one time I have a slight overbite.
Warren needed 2 more credit hours of college work to meet the Army requirements. So Warren went into the Navy Program and I awaited a call for the Army Program we were both pilots in the military service for about the same length of time. Those that were enlisted that day were sent home with orders to report at the Union Pacific train station Monday morning; I believe that was the 3rd of November.
Our destination was the Visalia-Dinuba School of Aeronautics in California, which was located between the cities of Visalia and Dinuba. When we arrived in Visalia, a bus met us at the train station and took us out into the country to what looked like a building site for a motel. The buildings were mostly completed but the road in front and the landscaping were not.
At a. Inside, workers for the War Relief Services of the National Catholic Welfare Conference had already started work when their offices were suddenly engulfed an an explosion of flaming, high-octane fuel. The burning gasoline traveled through hallways, stairwells, and elevator shafts, reaching as far as four floors below the point of impact as the building shook.
A publicist working in the offices was propelled out of a window from the explosion, and ten others were caught in the inferno. Fire and debris rained upon the surrounding area, mostly onto nearby structures. The other engine flew into an elevator shaft and severed the cable of an elevator car carrying two women, sending it into free fall.
There were five or six seconds— I was tottering on my feet trying to keep my balance— and three-quarters of the office was instantaneously consumed in this sheet of flame. One man was standing inside the flame.
I could see him. It was a co-worker, Joe Fountain. His whole body was on fire. Doris Pope, also in the building at the time, initially suspected that World War 2 had been brought to American soil:. We immediately thought New York was being bombed. The floor we were on was pretty high.
At some point, we heard a horrendous noise and rushed to the windows. We were horrified to see a B half in and half out of the Empire State Building. The 4-alarm fire brought every available piece of fire-fighting apparatus to the scene. As the building was evacuated, firemen spent about an hour extinguishing the flames. Sadly, one of the women was fatally wounded, and died shortly after she was found.
The surviving woman, Betty Lou Oliver, currently holds a world record for surviving the story free fall.
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All told, fourteen men and women were killed in the accident, including Lt. Colonel William Smith and his two crewmen, nine office workers killed from the fire, and the woman who died in the elevator. Joe Fountain, the man who had been caught in the fire but managed to walk out of it, died of his wounds several days later. In addition, twenty-six people were injured. The impact left a hole in the north face of the Empire State Building eighteen feet wide by twenty feet high. Photographer Ernie Sisto captured this incredible image from the 90th floor, where he had two other newsmen dangle him out the window by his legs so he could get the shot past the ledge.
Later in the day, a news broadcast by Mutual Broadcasting Company included interviews with eyewitnesses, as well as an audio recording of the crash which had been accidentally captured by a nearby recording studio. Investigation showed that the structural integrity of the Empire State Building was not compromised by this accident, but the cost to repair the damage was on the order of a million dollars.
For more information, you might check your local library for old copies of New York daily newspapers on microfilm; this was front page news in New York City on July 29, Last updated 28 July You can always link to our content, but if you wish to repurpose this copyrighted text, you must obtain permission. I was laughing, not realizing what had really happened. I thought it was a small prop plane and then pictured King Kong. It was the KK part that was making me laugh. I had to sit there and watch my Mom cry for the next two hours wishing I had never called home.
I am amazed thast I had never heard about this either. Strange what parts of history can escape us at times. I met the widow if this pilot in a hospital in She filed the first successful lawsuit against the federal governement—or so she claimed. Unfortunately they were talking about small prop planes. If they did…the WTC towers would still be standing.
My mother lived in New York at the time as well, and I remember her mentioning it that September afternoon when we talked about the terroist attacks. How strange that I never knew that the Empire State Building was actually hit by a plane in Everybody heard of this some time or another. Wow, definitely harss. I think maybe a lot of younger people may not have heard of thie before. No need to make such a blanket statement. The story itself was more interesting on a personal level than a historical one — the women falling in the elevator, the man standing ablaze in the fire.
Planes fly into buildings occasionally — it just happens being a rather different story, however. Smith had no business flying at that altitude in that airspace in those conditions. The most damned interesting this about the story is the picture — every time I think of holding an old 15 pound Speedgraphic press camera and dangling over the ledge of the 90th floor to get that shot…pretty creepy. My Speedgraphic camera weighs about 5 pounds not Most likely due to the way the structure was overbuilt. You get what you pay for.
A couple thousand persons, sadly, paid the ultimate price for shortsightedness, cutting corners and doing things cheaply. A twin-engine B bomber, Army , was added to the base fleet. On July 28, , Army was returning to Sioux Falls from the East Coast when the pilot became lost in a blinding fog.
The point of impact was feet above street level. Highly flammable aviation fuel exploded, unleashing a deadly fireball inside the skyscraper.
Concluding that fault for the accident was largely that of the pilot, the Army thereafter required more intensive transitional training for pilots returning from overseas combat duty. I do a little blogspot thing on some of the local historic sites for fun. By happy coincedence, I snapped photos of this particular marker last month, and had written some of the post on Monday of this week. I saw the DI article, and decided I should finish it up; you can see photos of the marker and get a little not a lot more info here.
The latter is more likely true, as the accident happened with just the pilot and two crewmen on board. How quickly you attribute motives to people with nothing to back it up. The ESB was built the way it was built because that was the best they had at the time for making what was one of the tallest buildings in the world. The WTC was built with the same goals in mind — using the best materials available at the time to do the job, make the tallest building in the world. It could not have been made using the techniques and materials that the ESB utilized. The liability incurred in a failure of a building that size would completely bankrupt the owners and builders, and the publicity would make them laughingstocks if not outright social pariahs.
Kudos to you both!! Describe the scene. When we began to steam away from Alameda, it was pretty foggy, but by the time we got around to the Golden Gate Bridge—which most of us had never seen—the sun broke through the clouds. When did you finally receive mission specifics?
Incidents in the life of a B pilot (Book, ) [devyzuzyvoby.tk]
Things quieted down as people began to realize what they were getting into. Cruisers, destroyers and the carrier Enterprise , yes? The Navy airplanes on Hornet had to be put down on the second deck. One of the reasons Enterprise went along was that it had fighter airplanes, in case we had a meeting with the Japanese. Who commanded the task force? Admiral [William F. How close to Japan was the Navy supposed to get you?
Maybe or nautical miles. After running across a Japanese picket ship, the bombers launched early, still some nautical miles from Japan. All 16 made it to their targets, delivering a psychological blow to the Japanese and a morale boost to the Allies.
But you launched early, on April The Navy ran across a Japanese picket ship, Nitto Maru , and Halsey made the decision we would launch. We took the engine covers off the plane, pulled the props through and went over the checklist. We were all set when Doolittle came. How far from Japan were you? Around nautical miles. How were conditions? Well, it was pretty rough. Water was coming up over the bow and causing problems, with the airplanes beginning to slip around on deck.
Were there any injuries or damage? The only incident I know of came when [Doolittle and I] were already gone.
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A Navy lad [Robert W. Wall] slipped and went underneath a propeller, which cut off one of his arms. But the wind worked to your advantage, yes? The carrier speed was between 20 and 35 knots forward, and the wind was pretty close to about the same amount. Describe the launch procedure. The Navy had painted a white line down the deck for the left main gear and another for the nose gear. We taxied up and revved the engine. A launcher picked the appropriate time, the peak of an up movement with the water, and the carrier just dropped out from underneath the airplane.
We got off a good 20 or 30 feet from the end of the deck. Did the group fly in formation? The only other plane we saw was the second, piloted by Travis Hoover. What was your flight time to Japan? A little over four hours. We tried to maintain mph indicated. Our average altitude was feet.
We shored in north of Tokyo. It was a bright, sunny day. People were out on the beach. Nobody seemed to care when they saw us. We think they thought we were one of their airplanes. Turning south toward the city, Colonel Doolittle pulled up to 1, feet, Fred Braemer dropped the bombs, and we went back down on the deck.
The raid was designed to do two things. The other was to give the Allies, and particularly the United States, a morale shot in the arm. Your destination was China? We were supposed to land, gas up and go on to western China. The Army Air Corps would end up with a squadron of Bs and a commander. All of the airplanes made it to China, except one that had excessive fuel loss and landed in Vladivostok, Russia.
What happened to its crew? And your plane? Several hours past Tokyo navigator Hank Potter passed a note up to us that we were going to end up about miles short of China. The weather was very bad—a lot of lightning, rain. We were all supposed to land in Chuchow, but there were complications. The airplane carrying a portable homing station crashed on the way there.
What did you do? The only thing we could do was fly until we ran out of gas and then bail out. We bailed out at around 9, feet. I pulled it so hard I gave myself a black eye. Where did you land? My parachute drifted over a pine tree, and I spent the night in the tree. I know I dozed off. How did your crewmates fare? Everybody bailed out successfully. We all had compasses and knew we needed to walk west rather than try to go east.
By chance we were all together the next night. Real worried. He was really down in the dumps. Had the mission failed? But the raid caused the Japanese to bring back forces from down around Australia and India and concentrate their power in the Central Pacific. They also transferred two carriers to Alaska, and that evened the odds with the U.
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